Leadership coaching expert Lynn Scott, whose sector experience ranges from retail, food and drink to the NHS, recommends ten ways for senior executives to improve their influencing skills. Scott’s tips should be valuable for executives working at all levels of the life and health insurance industry, particularly as many in the sector argue that life insurance is ‘sold and not bought’.


1. Be interested more than  ‘interesting’.   ‘Receive’ more than you ‘transmit’.  Listening is the most under-rated communication skill and yet the most powerful skill we possess if we want to influence other people.  How to get better at it?  Practise, practise, practise.  There’s no magic bullet


 2. It is said that emotion (and story-telling) drives many of the decisions we make.  So however much ‘logic’     you might present, I might not be influenced.  If you work on the first skill above, you’ll be much clearer on whether I’m being influenced by emotion or logic – or both!


How well do you really know your competitors?

Access the most comprehensive Company Profiles on the market, powered by GlobalData. Save hours of research. Gain competitive edge.

Company Profile – free sample

Thank you!

Your download email will arrive shortly

Not ready to buy yet? Download a free sample

We are confident about the unique quality of our Company Profiles. However, we want you to make the most beneficial decision for your business, so we offer a free sample that you can download by submitting the below form

By GlobalData
Visit our Privacy Policy for more information about our services, how we may use, process and share your personal data, including information of your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. Our services are intended for corporate subscribers and you warrant that the email address submitted is your corporate email address.

3. Do I want all the detail or just the headlines?  Find out.  Don’t assume!   (One IFA I know took it upon himself to tell me everything I (didn’t) need to know about his products and services.  He didn’t get my business.  


4. Ask me questions.  And REALLY listen to the answers. What’s important to me?  What keeps me awake at night?  What do I dream of?  If I think you ‘get’ me, I’m much more likely to be persuaded.  Understand my fears, hopes, challenges and opportunities.  Then ask how you can help me.


5. Get feedback on your influencing skills.  Keep it simple.  ‘What can I do to improve my influence in the meeting/the presentation?’  and so on.  We’ve all got blind spots and we can only improve if we know about them!


6. Look the part.  Show your authority (without being authoritarian) and dress like you mean business (and that is contextual).


7. We can all learn to improve our gravitas.  Think about the first impression you make when you walk into a room.  Does it create the impression you want to create?  Do you scuttle in like a frightened rabbit, avoid eye contact and shrink into your chair? Or do you  march in, take over and dominate?  Neither leads to positive influence.

8. Reciprocity works.


9. Forget ‘networking’.  Build relationships instead.


10. People are influenced by people they know, like and trust.  Are you that person?


Scott says: “You need to know yourself FIRST and  do the work on yourself FIRST if you truly want to be able to build relationships and focus completely on your potential buyer. “

She adds: “I won’t buy you if you don’t listen, if you treat me as a number,  if you interrupt me, if you don’t answer my questions, if you don’t find out what I need and if you don’t pay attention (I can see you trying to jump in with an answer before I’ve finished speaking).

“I don’t care how many smart-arsed questions you’ve got in your ‘toolkit’ if you haven’t got any self- awareness.”